“Curry” has become the unofficial cuisine of England, which has boosted that country’s culinary reputation considerably. It was once considered exotic, but shouldn’t have been, since it is eaten around the world and even appeared in an American cookbook as far back as 1824. In fact, the only place that doesn’t have a curry tradition is India.
That word “curry,” now as then, has a meaning as vague and inclusive as its ingredients. It can mean any stew made with “Indian” spices, as well as the yellow spice powder (usually a mixture of turmeric, coriander, cumin, and fenugreek) used in raisin-studded chicken salads. It’s not difficult to trace the spread of curry—it traveled by sea, following traders and slavers and laborers, the ancient vectors of colony and conquest—but the word itself is an altogether different beast, a bastard with many potential parents and no clear pedigree.
The Portuguese first came to India’s palm-toothed southern shores in 1498, in search of cardamom, cloves, and black pepper, each among the world’s most valuable commodities. Lacking a word to describe the spicy, coconut-thickened stews they found there, they went ahead and made one up: carel, taken from the Tamil word kari.
From those early traders, the Indian dishes we call curry followed the spread of imperialism. Read about how curry took over the world at the A.V. Club.
The Lord of the Rings showed us the cozy underground homes of the Shire, where Hobbits live. They were intriguing, how they meshed with the surrounding natural world, and their Middle-Earth details. There are quite a few Hobbit homes in the real world, either specifically designed to be Tolkien or that happen to share the esthetic. Underground homes are quite eco-friendly and energy-efficient, and some of these houses fit into the landscape so well that you might not even realize they are there, like the Dune House in Florida.
Look too quickly, and you may miss the fact that a house is built under all of the greenery. It’s called the Dune House, is located in Atlantic Beach, Florida, and is practically hidden in the landscape. As far as Hobbit houses go, this one is completely decked out. It’s a two story building and was built in 1975 by famed architect William Morgan — that means he had a jump on the trend before LOTR was even a thing. The home is worth $1.4 million dollars, and it definitely looks expensive inside.
Well, The Hobbit was published in 1937 and The Lord of the Rings trilogy in the ‘50s, but most of the ten homes on this list are relatively recent and resemble the Hobbit homes in the movies. You can even visit and sleep in a couple of them!
Role players love their dice, but not all die are created equal. While percentile dice require you to roll two different dice, it's still less unwieldy than using a D100 like the one pictured above. I'm sure you can imagine it doesn't stop roling very easily.
The Robot's Voice has compiled a list of the 10 most shameful dice of all time and while I don't agree with all of their decisions (I'm a sucker for crystal dice no matter what anyone says), their criticisms are hilarious.
The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research, now in all-pdf form. Get a subscription now for only $25 a year!
by Marc Abrahams, AIR staff
In the film Good Will Hunting, a college janitor came to be recognized as a genius. Something vaguely -- very vaguely -- akin to that happened during the 2005 Ig week.
For some time now, Roy Glauber has been a vital participant in the annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony. By spontaneous tradition, the Ig audience throws paper airplanes at the stage during the entire ceremony (and the people on stage waft some of them right back). The airplanes accumulate so rapidly that it is necessary to have two people spend the entire ceremony sweeping them off. Roy, a Harvard physics professor, has nobly, stylishly, and vigorously swept the stage for ten long years. Like Gandhi, Roy patiently pursued humble tasks in the long years before the world at large came to appreciate his greatness. Two days before the 2005 Ig Nobel Ceremony came the news: Roy Glauber has been awarded a Nobel Prize in physics.
First, try to answer this question from your own experience. Don’t spend too much time thinking about it. I immediately said Hamlet, maybe because that was the first of Shakespeare’s plays I ever knew about. My mother had to read it for college, and she read most of it out loud to me. It was years before I knew there were any others. We studied a half-dozen or so of Shakespeare’s plays in school, but not the one play that is the most performed now. According to data from the site Shakespearances, these are the William Shakespeare plays most often performed by professional troupes since 2011.
Way before a game called GO made people want to go out and catch pocket monsters there was a portable game called Catch The Demogorgon, but it didn't last very long due to numerous fatalities. The game involved tracking down a creature many people thought to be imaginary, but since the game was in 8-bit it didn't include information on catching or killing the creature so kids were at its mercy when they finally managed to track it down. Things got even stranger when kids who'd played the game started claiming they had traveled to a parallel dimension called the Upside Down, supposedly the home of the Demogorgon. But parents blamed the whole thing on Dungeons & Dragons, and in a misguided attempt to save their children D&D was banned but the Demogorgon was allowed to go about its business...
Show the world why it's okay to catch pocket monsters but real monsters should be left alone by wearing this Catch The Demogorgon t-shirt by Haplo, it's strangely appealing!
Visit Haplo's NeatoShop for more old chool cool designs:
While the alien race we know as the Klingons appeared in the original Star Trek TV series, they only achieved the iconic look and used their own language in the first Star Trek feature film in 1979. The language they spoke in Star Trek: The Motion Picture consisted of words made up by James Doohan, who played Engineer Scott. The role of non-human species and their languages would expand for further movies. About that time time, Marc Okrand of the National Captioning Institute was preparing to do close-captioning in real time for the 1982 Academy Awards.
During preparations in L.A., Okrand was having lunch with an old friend when serendipity struck. The friend was working on what would become Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and the film just so happened to need a linguist to dub a conversation between Vulcans Spock and Saavik (played by a young Kirstie Alley). Using clues from the little bit of Vulcan spoken in the first film, Okrand got to work. But Vulcan at this time wasn't really a language. "The scene was filmed with the actors speaking English. My job was to make up gobbly-goop that fit the lip movements and then was dubbed in," Okrand says. Two years later, he was asked backed to work on the third Star Trek movie, but this time the task was a bit more complex: to develop the Klingon language.
Russian history in U.S. schools is usually limited to Lenin, Stalin, the space race, and maybe now they include the fall of the Soviet Union. Depending on your age, you likely learned about Nicholas II, the last Tsar and his family from movies, because it was a very dramatic story. There were several movies about Rasputin, and I would recommend the 1971 film Nicholas and Alexandra. But even more people recall the movies Anastasia (1956) or Anastasia (1997), neither of which tell us much about the family or the Russian revolution. They are about Anna Anderson, who was presented as the youngest of the Tsar’s four daughters, Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna. Anderson was only taking advantage of the rumors that Anastasia was the only member of the family who had survived the assassination of 1918 and had been missing ever since. How did those rumors ever get started? Probably because, despite the Soviet Union's refusal to say anything about the Tsar's fate, there were a few people who knew that not all the Romanovs were buried together.
In the spring of 1979, Alexander Avdonin and Geli Ryabov discovered the pit in which five of the seven Romanovs (and four of their servants) had been buried. Since the Communists were still ruling Russia at the time, Advonin and Ryabov decided to keep the finding a secret. The pit wouldn’t be officially opened until 1991, the same year that the Soviet Union dissolved.
DNA and skeletal analysis matched the remains in the pit to Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, Yevgeny Botkin, Alexei Trupp, Ivan Kharitonov, Anna Demidova, and three of the four grand duchesses. William R. Maples (a forensic expert) concluded that the two bodies missing from the family grave were that of Tsarevitch Alexei and Anastasia. However, Russian scientists believed that it was the body of Maria that was missing. Using a computer program to compare photos of the youngest grand duchess with the skulls of the victims from the mass grave, they identified one the bodies in the pit as that of Anastasia.
People tell you to follow your dreams when you're young, but if you get too old before you've turned your dreams into a monetary reality those same advice happy people start calling you a dreamer.
Dreams don't have an expiration date but we print one on them anyway, and then, as this comic from Blazers At Dawn shows, the expiration date arrives and we're forced to torch those dreams and draw up new ones.
This morning, redditor twilling8 found a skunk wandering around his neighborhood in Ontario with a Coke can stuck on his head. What to do? He could ignore the skunk, and go about his business, but that could return to haunt him later. Or he could risk getting sprayed.
Right now signs are littering lawns across the U.S. urging us to vote in the upcoming election, but we don't have to restrict the statements made by our lawn signage to political matters- we can tell people to scram too.
Plain or fancy, the addition of crown molding can make a cheap home suddenly look established and well-built, but only if it’s done right. There are a lot of factors to consider: the size and shape of the room, the size and shape of the molding, the cost of the materials and labor, and the final look you are aiming for. Get some design tips and see 100 examples of what crown molding can do for a room at Housely.
Japanese comedian Kosaka Daimaou, whose real name is Kazuhiko Kosaka, has a character he does named Piko-Taro. Here, Piko-Taro sings a little ditty about pens and pineapples. It doesn’t make a bit of sense, but since he posted it one month ago, it’s been covered and remixed by dozens of YouTubers.
Yoshi had been on a permanent vacation after winning the Mario Kart tournament and becoming a very wealthy dinosaur, but downtime was not good for Yoshi. After being cooped up in the house for six long months eating mushrooms and watching old samurai flicks he was starting to believe he was some kind of ronin, a deadly dino swordsman who was out for revenge against the Koopas. Mario tried to call Yoshi but he wouldn't answer, so he drove over to his house to make sure his old pal was okay. But when he walked up the stairs and saw Yoshi standing on the porch wearing a samurai costume, large sword on his hip, Mario knew Yoshi was starting to go bonkers...
Bring home this super Yoshimbo t-shirt by Nicko Designs and watch your wardrobe go from a negative zone to a total 1-UP!
From 1347 to 1350, the a virulent disease ravaged the populations of Asia and Europe, killing more than 25 million in Europe alone— about a third of the population. Most people died just three days after becoming infected. Scientists remain perplexed by the outbreak, but many agree that the disease was probably the bubonic plague (or the “black death”) and it was probably spread all over the world by infected fleas traveling on rats. In those days, rats thrived among people— on ships and in cities. Infected fleas, the thinking goes, simply hopped off of dying rats and onto people.
The disruption to medieval society was immense and the outbreak helped bring about the end of the feudalism. Muslims in Crimea, in what’s now the Ukraine, blamed Christians and expelled them from trading cities, spreading the disease deep into Europe. The Christians blamed Jews and burned many of them alive, killing crucial tradesmen and leaving towns without blacksmiths, innkeepers, bakers, millers, and weavers. Many towns and farms were abandoned, leading to food shortages. Ultimately, the nobles couldn’t enforce control on their surviving peasant laborers. So, despite laws aimed at keeping serfs’ wages low, the desperate noblemen began doubling and tripling wages, encouraging the serfs of other noblemen to jump ship. Over time, the serfs were able to demand and get a higher standard of living and new rights, loosening the binds that kept them enslaved to one estate and bringing an end to the economic system of feudalism.
Any scenario in which someone wears the inflatable T-Rex costume is funny just because, and even funnier because they are so awkward. But this T-Rex managed to be funny and leave the awkwardness behind as he goes out on the lake on a jet ski!
This T-Rex is professional jet skier Mark Gomez, doing what he does best even inside a dinosaur costume. Guillermo Casas recorded him using a drone. A good time was had by all. -via Tastefully Offensive
A photo posted by Dinosaur Kingdom II (@dinokingdom2) on Jun 30, 2016 at 3:17pm PDT
Imagine a theme park where life-size dinosaur statues exist in the middle of Civil War battles. Dinosaur Kingdom II in Virginia harkens back to the kind of attractions that popped up on roadsides between the rise of the American road trip and the construction of the interstate highways that bypassed so much of it. All you need are things people want to see, and that means dinosaurs and Civil War soldiers. Mark Cline is the owner of the new theme park which just opened this summer, but it’s far from his first. His bizarre vision depends little on historical accuracy and a lot on wacky entertainment. Read more about Dinosaur Kingdom II at Ozy.
Edward Grant of Middletown, New Jersey, caught this fish Sunday in Raritan Bay. It’s a fluke, in more ways than one. It appears that something, possibly a bluefish or shark, had taken a bite out of the fish. The fluke's massive injury was completely healed.
"We were very shocked," Grant said, adding, "We used a few other words, too."
Grant tossed the 18.5 inch fluke back into the bay, deciding it had been through enough already and deserved to live.
"I felt bad for it," he said.
Would you call the fish lucky for both surviving such a bite and also being tossed back by a fisherman? Or would you call him unlucky for being bitten and then being hooked? -via Arbroath
Killing stuff is a big part of any roleplaying game, and RPG systems generally use enemy kills as the main source of experience points, so it's hard to imagine an RPG system that doesn't involve killing stuff.
It's even harder to imagine a game in which characters are penalized for resorting to violence, but somehow the new tabletop RPG Lotus Dimension makes that concept seem appealing.
Lotus Dimension forces players to figure out how to solve problems and conflict without violence, using powers like "sleight of hand" or "curl up like an armadillo" to peacefully resolve encounters.
The game was created by Scott Wayne Indiana as an interesting alternative to games like D&D, with a character advancement structure based on Buddhism's noble eightfold path and the concept of karma.
And while it probably won't appeal to your power gamer buddies who are all about loot and XP Lotus Dimension will definitely broaden the horizons of gamers who are sick of the same old RPGs.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was not as well received as expected. How should they improve the next movie? Screen Rant had a genius idea: Batman against Batman. Specifically, Batman played by Christian Bale vs. Batman played by Ben Affleck.
Oh yeah, Michael Keaton gets thrown into the mix, too. And George Clooney. Did you see Val Kilmer? I didn’t. Anyway, Batman vs. Batman would be a much more evenly matched fight, and probably pretty dirty, too. On top of all that, you can see they are secretly rooting for each other. -via Geeks Are Sexy
The world’s largest elevator opened just last weekend to carry ships up and down the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in central China. Previously, ships could only surmount the dam by using a system of five locks, which took hours. Now they can just be lifted up or down, water and all, in just 40 minutes!
Spicy foods are really hard to eat, so it makes sense for manufacturers to sell them in smaller quantities since nobody really needs more than their mouth can handle.
But if you're going to sell your spicy chips one chip at a time they'd better live up to your claim that they're "the hottest chip in the world".
Paqui Chips is standing by the claim that their Carolina Reaper Madness chip is hot enough to be sold individually, and just to make sure foodies get the point they're selling each one in a little coffin box.